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Ryan Borne


Behind the Shot

Saint Barthélemy, a volcanic island in the French West Indies, has a long and fascinating history. Shallow reefs fully encircle the small island, known as St Barths. It boasts white-sand beaches and frequent swells—making it a surfing paradise.

Ryan Borne shot this aerial image in 2018 using a DJI Mavic 2 Pro drone camera. The surfer—a friend of Ryan’s catching waves in St Barths—transitions between the two worlds of foam and deep blue as he paddles.

“The contrast is huge,” says Ryan. “The dark is very dark, and the white is very white. He almost appears to be swimming toward the edge of a cliff or void—it’s kind of scary. I’ve always been a little scared of the ocean when it’s darker—the immensity of it. This image makes you feel you’re going somewhat into the unknown.”

Ryan grew up on St Barths and has enjoyed maritime recreation since he was very young—swimming, sailing and fishing. While he’s always had an affinity for big waves, he didn’t begin surfing until he was an adult. And now he can’t get enough of the sport—including capturing surf photos.